How to Add Gloss to Porcelain Tile

Written by kevin mcdermott
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Porcelain tile in its unfinished state is flat and absorbent, like dried clay. Even if it was glazed before installation, that glaze can get dull and flat over the years. You can add shine to that tile by using polyurethane gloss, the same substance used to make wood floors shine. Getting the gloss to stick to the hard porcelain surface can be difficult, but a power sander and some aluminum oxide sandpaper make it easier.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Power sander
  • Aluminum oxide sand paper (fine abrasion)
  • Polyurethane floor gloss
  • Paintbrush
  • Extra fine sandpaper

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  1. 1

    Buff the surface of the porcelain tile using your power sander and aluminum oxide sandpaper. Move the sander in the same direction over each tile, without sanding the grout between them. Get the tile as dull as you can. Wipe off the dust.

  2. 2

    Apply a thin layer of polyurethane gloss to the tiles using a paintbrush. Brush it on smooth and flat, going in the same direction with the brush on each tile. Don't put the polyurethane on the grout lines.

  3. 3

    Let the polyurethane set overnight.

  4. 4

    Sand the polyurethane by hand (not with the power sander), using extra fine sandpaper. Sand it just enough to dull the shine, so the next layer of polyurethane will adhere to the surface. Wipe off the dust.

  5. 5

    Brush on a second layer of polyurethane gloss, the same way you did before. Allow it to set overnight, then hand sand and apply a third layer. Let the third layer set for a full day.

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